For the seasoned bloggers and blog-readers out there, when reading recipes, how often to you think to yourself: Oh yeah, I’ve made something similar to that before… move on…
I rarely repeat recipes, and sometimes even shy away from ones that look similar to ones I’ve made before. It is all about variety! The more, the merrier!
While I have made some really delicious red lentil soups, mostly with lemon (lemon+cumin+cilantro=fantastic), I was still intrigued by Deborah Madison’s Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.
Both soups have similarities: red lentils, cumin, cilantro, onion and citrus.
The differences: tomato paste vs yellow mustard. Spinach, too. (The original recipe also called for yogurt and rice, both of which I omitted)
This soup just goes to show you how a simple change in seasoning can drastically alter a dish. Both equally delicious, yet completely different.
In this soup, you have a savoury red lentil soup flavoured primarily by mustard, oh yes mustard, with a hint cumin, sweetened by the spinach, then livened by the cilantro and fresh lime juice. They work so well together. And yes, this time my yellow mustard seeds did not disappoint! I am positively smitten by mustard. What are your favourite recipes with mustard?
Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 limes (or to taste)
1 bunch spinach leaves, roughly chopped (~300g)
1. Combine the lentils in a soup pot with 5 cups water along with the tumeric and 1.5 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20-30 minutes. If you want (I didn’t), puree for a smooth and nicer-looking soup.
2. While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring: In a medium non-stick skillet over low heat, cook the onion in the oil with the cumin and mustard, stirring occasionally. When soft, about the time the lentils are cooked or after 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a minute more. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of a lime. Taste, then add more if needed to bring up the flavors. The soup should be a tad sour. Add spinach to soup, stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes until wilted.